BROOKVILLE – The Tri-Village Patriots, coming off a 30-0 record and Division IV state championship, seem to be in fine form again as evidenced the last two weeks in the summer basketball league at Twin Valley South and Brookville.
Tri-Village opened play at Brookville against the Milton-Union Bulldogs. The Patriots were bullish on defense and after the first 20 minutes of play had battled out to a commanding 37-11
lead. The second 20 minutes of play was more 3-point shooting and fast-breaking layups for the Pats as it concluded a 35-point blowout, 60-25.
Andrew Gerkin of the Milton-Union coaching staff was quite complimentary afterwards.
“Tri-Village is a well-oiled machine, and they are not going to beat themselves,” he said.
During this game the cogs of the machine continued to be sticky defense, boxing out and hands up on the offensive shooter.
Next up in this round robin event that consisted of a 20 minute continuous clock for both halves was the Tri-Village Patriots battling the Preble-Shawnee Arrows out of Camden in Preble County. The Arrows were piercing enough shots from the perimeter to hang close, 32-21, at the break.
After some fine adjustments from coaches Flatter and Sagester, the Patriots unleashed a smothering defense and lit up the nylons both inside and outside for a final tally of 71-38 with an impressive 49 points in the second half.
On the agenda next were the Dixie Greyhounds out of Montgomery County. The first 20 minutes the Hounds would have needed Robert Montgomery Knight to stop the onslaught posed by Tri-Village as the Patriots ran past, around and over the New Lebanon squad for an impressive 45-18 count. The second half was much the same with fast breaks and a barrage of 3-pointers choking the Hounds 16-5 in the last 10 minutes for a final count of 78-35.
Tuesday saw the Patriots going up against a much bigger squad in enrollment and otherwise in the Carlisle Indians.
“We knew we had our hands full as they were Division II the last two years, and they are barely Division III this year,” Tri-Village assistant coach Mick Sagester said.
Tri-Village’s electric eight tried to keep up with the much taller Indians, who had a full complement of 10 players. They did this by invoking an effective press and hitting some threes. The count after one-half was 30-19 in favor of the Warren County squad. Carlisle continued to use their size underneath and capitalize on second chance points to garner a 56-47 victory.
“We struggled against their height, but I have a good feeling that we will be alright the rest of the tourney,” Tri-Village head coach Josh Sagester said.
The July 7 closing game this night was against the home team and head coach Josh Sagester’s alma mater, the Division III Brookville Blue Devils from Montgomery County.
The points were at a premium the first half as the Patriots upped their defensive execution from the last game and held the Devils to just 13 points while gathering 21 points with improved free throw shooting. The Devils came back on fire in the second half by tossing it inside to their 6-foot 4inch big man, Carson Albers. However, it was not enough as Coach Sagester’s squad peppered enough 3-pointers to keep the Devils at bay 42-39.
On July 8, the final night of the summer fest at Brookville’s Blue Devil court, saw the Patriots once again taking on the Arrows of Preble Shawnee. Preble Shawnee perhaps played its best half of the tourney by slowing down the vaunted fast break of the Patriots and were only down by 10 points 29-19.
In the second half the rain that was coming down all week was no match for Tri-Village sharp shooters as they rained down an incredible seven 3-pointers in the first 10 minutes of the last half, and finished with nine treys for the last 20 minutes. The courts were kind as Tri-Village moved around the ball better with crisp passing and hitting the open man which created inside layups even over their 6-foot 5-inch center to emerge with a 74-40 victory of the sweetest kind.
Tri-Village finished up the summer league showdown with a game against the Twin Valley South Panthers of the Cross County Conference out of Preble County. The Pats jumped out to a 25-14 lead after the first 20 minutes of continuous clock. After the next 10 minutes in the second half the Panthers clawed back by exploding with a 15-6 run by nailing four 3-pointers in a row. The last 10 minutes of the game saw the lead seesaw back and forth with Tri-Village rimming out a 3-pointer as time expired, going down 46-44.
The players’ hard work was in evidence by all the schools as each kid hustled back and forth the entire time. Sportsmanship was shown throughout the league as all players shook hands after each game.
There was a three-minute break at halftime and there were regular licensed officials throughout the league highlighted by veteran officials Vern and Gregg Pigg. There was no charge to see any of the games, and there was a seeding basis based on the coaches evaluations. There were a total of eight teams from five counties that made the league, which has been going on for quite a while and was very competitive.